Bell/ARL Collaboration successfully demonstrates micro UAS flight
Collaborations between Bell and ARL have met some remarkable milestones. In December researchers initially met at the Ft Worth facility to demonstrate a small Unmanned Air System (sUAS) vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) concept vehicle in support of Future Vertical Lift. In January, ARL South brought the same demonstration to the UT JJ Pickle Research campus in support of a visit by the Army Rapid Equipping Force lead, Col. Bookard. UT-CEM supported this visit and demonstration as the work Bell is undertaking in collaboration with the Army fits into a larger UAS collaboration between the Army and UT. Activities at UT are focused on understanding the power requirements of different UAS platforms against a variety of mission profiles, and also on minimizing rotor noise.
This sUAS is a Soldier portable long range micro VTOL asset weighing roughly 1 lb with vertical VTOL capabilities, an estimated flight time of 60 – 90 minutes and an estimated range of 30+ km. The demonstration included autonomous takeoff, maneuver to GPS waypoints, and landing. This work supports the Army Modernization Priority for Future Vertical Lift by providing knowledge and understanding of unprecedented capability in sUAS platforms for use in a variety of Army aerial applications. ARL will continue to collaborate with Bell to implement and demonstrate more autonomous behaviors onto the vehicle with an extended flight time.
Army POC: Dr. John Hrynuk